Because we've been asked, here are some of our thoughts regarding this decision by the Associated Student Body to change the name of the Colonel Reb title (Note: For those of you not familiar with Ole Miss culture, "Colonel Reb" is a title that a male student wins every year in a terribly annoying popularity contest.) to "Mr. Ole Miss." We are going to keep it brief because a) we really do not care as much as we may let on, b) we would like you all to use the comments section to offer your take:
- First off, is anyone surprised that this happened? I mean, really, did anybody think that this wouldn't happen eventually with all of the controversy we've already endured over the Colonel Reb mascot?
- Wile a fallacious argument, the slippery slope of "what will they take away next" is not all that unfounded in this case. Of course we should focus on this individual occurrence for its merits, but I don't blame those who are asking themselves "well when do they take away the name 'Rebels' altogether?" It's not all that illogical a question to ask at this point.
- Of all things to get up in arms over, this isn't it. Nearly nobody outside of the Ole Miss student body and alumni network knows what it means to be elected "Colonel Reb." It is largely insignificant, as are most of the things you do as undergrads. (Yes, this is me telling you that, once you're in your late-20's, you'll be astonished at how much of a shit you gave about things like what fraternity you were in and what clubs you were involved with on campus. I don't blame you for having fun and all - I know I did - but don't delude yourself into thinking that people in the real world care all that much about these things.)
- Though we do empathize with people who are bothered by this. No, really, we do. Just because some of us might not understand why some people care so much, the fact that you all do care so much does give us some pause for reflection. I mean, if someone told me that they would change a fundamental element of something that I myself really cared about, I too would be upset. So don't take this as me or any of us telling you how to think. We're just sharing thoughts at this point.
- But, really, "Mr. Ole Miss" is a cooler title than "Colonel Reb" anyway. As a friend of the Cup mentioned to us on Twitter, being "Mr. Ole Miss" is basically license to tell everyone outside of the Ole Miss community that you were the face of a sexy, snotty, and reckless student body. "I was king of the suburban Southern partiers" sounds so much better than "I won an election which used to determine who the mascot was but then that changed at some point rendering the election a general popularity contest that, outside of Ole Miss, doesn't make any damn sense anyway."
- And, finally, SPROTS! I LIEK SPROTS! And so long as Ole Miss is winning, I think these sorts of issues will remain largely trivial among the silent majority of Ole Miss fans. The timing of this couldn't have been better in that regard, with Ole Miss football coming off of a bowl win and a highly ranked recruiting class, Ole Miss basketball finally returning to March Madness, and Ole Miss baseball holding on to a top-25 ranking.